Karin Benzema wins 2022 Ballon d’Or with comprehensive case

Karin Benzema wins 2022 Ballon d’Or with comprehensive case

Perhaps at last it can be said that the era of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is over. After 12 Ballons d’Or between them in 14 years (their hegemony broken only by Luka Modrić in 2018 and the suspension of the award because of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, although the strong suspicion is that Robert Lewandowski would have won it then), it was Karim Benzema who was crowned on Monday.

Individual awards always seem a little artificial in a sport as team-oriented as football, and were Messi to extend his recent golden form to lead Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar, it may come to seem a little odd, but Benzema was an uncontroversial enough choice—and there’s not much France Football, the magazine that administers the award, can do about the timing of major tournaments. It did, however, elect to move the window for candidacies to match the European club calendar and not the calendar year, which all but secured the trophy for Benzema.

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